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Using service records to improve documentation accuracy and usability

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2 Author(s)

Through customer service calls, IBM service personnel collect a wealth of information about documentation ambiguities, inaccuracies, and omissions. Time constraints and job definition keep this team from mining and managing the knowledge contained in these records. Some problems require code changes, and some problems require changes to product information, but most require both code changes and product information changes. This creates a gap in the documentation. This gap must be addressed both in the short term (between releases of the product) and in the long term (in the next release). To understand how service information is gathered, the authors studied the support process in IBM. To understand where breakdowns in communication were occurring, the authors surveyed information planners across a number of products. To address the "between releases" issue, they explored vehicles for delivering between-releases information, including a Web-based vehicle for communicating short-term changes to information that has already been shipped. To address the "lack of communication" issue, they advocate fixing the process to incorporate the flow of service information into documentation into the ISO knowledge management model.

Published in:

Professional Communication Conference, 2004. IPCC 2004. Proceedings. International

Date of Conference:

29 Sept.-1 Oct. 2004